The Anonymous Widower

‘Dramatically More Powerful’: World’s First Battery-Electric Freight Train Unveiled

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Guardian.

It is a good article about Wabtec’s new FLXdrive battery train and is very positive about it coming from a typical Guardian direction.

The article is a must-read.

I am beginning to feel that what Wabtec has done is to create a practical and affordable solution, that will cut carbon emissions in a difficult area, that produces the figures and also is understandable by diverse groups, like journalists, politicians and environmentalists. And they are backing it with academic research from a good university.

I also believe that the technology can be applied to existing locomotives as I outlined in Could Class 66 Locomotives Be Converted Into Battery-Electric Locomotives?.

Could this be another example of positive environmental change brought about by when the big beasts play their cards in the jungle?

Going green is a way of company survival! And Wabtec are going in that direction.

September 17, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

FLXdrive ‘Electrifies’ Pittsburgh

batteryThe title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Age.

The article describes Wabtec’s FLXdrive locomotive, as “the world’s first 100% battery, heavy-haul locomotive”

It is well worth a read, as it describes some of the design philosophy.

In addition, this page on the Wabtec web site gives some details of the locomotive.

It is powered by lithium-ion batteries.

  • There are around 20,000 battery cells
  • The batteries have their own air-conditioning
  • There is a sophisticated battery-management system.
  • The total battery size is 2.4 MWh
  • Power output is 4400 HP or 3.24 MW
  • Locomotive will run for 30-40 minutes at full power.
  • The locomotive has regenerative braking.
  • Operating speed is 75 mph

Note that running at 75 mph for 40 miles would cover fifty miles.

The Railway age article has this paragraph, which describes a partnership between Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU), Genesee & Wyoming and Wabtec to create the Freight Rail Innovation Institute.

CMU, Genesee & Wyoming and Wabtec also hope to create the Freight Rail Innovation Institute, described as “the first-of-its-kind effort to create zero-emission locomotives, develop technology that increases freight rail utilization and improve safety by 50%, and create 250,000 jobs by 2030.” G&W’s Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad will pilot technologies developed by the Freight Rail Innovation Institute, including a zero-emissions battery and hydrogen-powered train that is planned for revenue operation on 200 miles of track between Pittsburgh and Buffalo, N.Y. within the next three years.

Note.

  1. The paragraph is very much a mission statement.
  2. Genesee & Wyoming are the parent of Freightliner in the UK, who are developing a dual-fuel locomotive, that I wrote about in Freightliner Secures Government Funding For Dual-Fuel Project.

It strikes me CMU, Genesee & Wyoming and Wabtec are on the right track.

 

September 16, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Velocys Welcomes US Government SAF Policy Support

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on London South East.

This is the first paragraph.

Velocys plc – Oxford, England-based fuels technology company – Welcomes US government announcement last week of a set of comprehensive new policy actions in support for Sustainable Aviation Fuel production in the US. Notes Velocys is cited in a White House briefing paper setting out the Biden administration’s plans to incentivise commercial scale supply of SAF in the US to meet decarbonisation objectives while stimulating economic growth.

I hope that being cited by the White House is a good thing.

I do think though, that Velocys have the technology, that could help us to keep flying until hydrogen-powered aircraft are developed.

September 15, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Hydrogen Pipelines

Someone asked me about pipelines for hydrogen and I found this document on the US Department of Energy web site.

September 12, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen | , | 1 Comment

Form Energy Discloses A Small Amount

Form Energy has been a bit mysterious, but this article on Energy Storage News, which is entitled Renewables As Baseload Energy: Form Energy’s Multi-Day |Storage Seeks To Replace Gas And Coal.

Form Energy certainly have large ambitions, backing from organisations like Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and an order for a 1 MW/150 MWh pilot for Great River Energy in Minnesota, and I suspect this is probably enough to ensure success in the mid-size market sector, which they share with the UK’s Highview Power, who are building their first grid-scale 50 MW/ 250 MWh at Carrington to the South of Manchester.

The article is certainly an interesting insight into one of the new energy storage ventures.

April 28, 2021 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

Gulf Of Mexico Train Ferry Fleet Renewal

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette International.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The first of two train ferries ordered for CG Railway’s route across the Gulf of Mexico has been launched by CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Co in China.

The CGR joint venture of Genesee & Wyoming and SEACOR Holdings transports 10 000 wagons/year between Mobile in Alabama in the USA and Coatzacoalcos in Mexico.

I was surprised about this article, as between the US and Mexico wasn’t where I would expect to find a train ferry.

But it obviously makes sense as two new ships don’t come cheap.

Some other points from the article.

  • The two new ships will increase capacity by forty percent.
  • There will be a 44 % reduction of CO2 emissions compared to the all rail route.
  • The ships are designed to be pandemic proof.
  • The ships take five days for the trip, which is half the time of the all-rail route.

I can see this investment being copied in various places around the world.

 

 

March 15, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 7 Comments

Is Heavy-Duty Fuel Cell Trucking Almost Ready For Prime Time?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Freight Waves.

It is a comprehensive article, that discusses hydrogen-powered trucks with respect to the United States.

Some quick points from the article.

  • Companies are looking at dedicated routes.
  • California with its emissions legislation, will be in the forefront of hydrogen trucks in the US.
  • Nikola will build hydrogen filling stations to support big customers.
  • Toyota are using the same fuel cells in passenger cars and the largest trucks.
  • Toyota are trialling their trucks on short runs from the ports in the Los Angeles area.

There does seem to be a lot of US companies getting involved in hydrogen.

The article is definitely a must-read.

Some of the applications mentioned for hydrogen trucks are more about heavy loads over short distances, than taking a load half-way across the US.

These applications will possibly mean.

  • Back-to-base refuelling.
  • More running in urban areas.
  • Large reductions in emissions and pollution.

As fleets get larger, it might be economic for a fleet to have its own system to provide the hydrogen, as the hydrogen-buses do in Pau.

I suspect that roll-out of these applications could be helped by some well-designed tax incentives.

February 19, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Covid: Biden Vows 100m Vaccinations For US In First 100 Days

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the introductory paragraphs of the article.

US President-elect Joe Biden has set a goal of 100 million Covid vaccinations in his first 100 days in office.

He said his first months in office would not end the outbreak and gave few details on a rollout plan but he said he would change the course of Covid-19.

Introducing his health team for when he takes office on 20 January, he urged Americans to “mask up for 100 days”.

I can see a few rocks ahead in his plan.

Vaccine Production

According to media reports, the number of vaccinations has declined since Friday because of delivery issues with the Pfizer vaccine.

In Tracking COVID-19 Vaccination Statistics, the number of vaccinations in the last few days are as follows.

  • 15th January – 324233
  • 16th January – 549920
  • 17th January – 205235
  • 18th January – 204076

The figures have been declining because of these delivery issues.

Pfizer say they are updating the factory in Belgium to increase production.

I don’t believe that, as the United States will be needing a million does per day, that they can get enough production on a reliable basis.

A Federal Lockdown

I believe that to get the virus under control in the United States, the country must follow the route of countries like France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and the UK and have a period of perhaps a hundred days of total lockdown.

But I doubt that would be possible in the United States.

Mask Wearing

I don’t believe that Americans will mask up for a hundred days.

The Anti-Vaxxers And The Trumpeteers

I can see them having a field day!

Especially, if Joe Biden adds some strong legislation to curb the spread of the virus. Which in my view is needed.

Conclusion

It’s going to get a lot messier and probably more dangerous in the United States in the next few months.

January 20, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 2 Comments

Tips For American Servicemen In Britain During The Second World War

The title of this post, is the same as this page on the Imperial War Museum web site.

These are the first two introductory paragraphs.

In 1942, the first of over 1.5 million American servicemen arrived on British shores in preparation for the Allied offensives against Germany during the Second World War.

That year, the United States’ War Department published Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain to help soldiers, sailors and airmen – many of whom had never travelled abroad before – adjust to life in a new country.

The whole area of the web site is well-worth exploring.

The book, which is entitled Instructions For American Servicemen In Britain 1942 can be purchased from the museum.

January 16, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

New Form Of Solar Energy To Enter US Market

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on abc News.

This is the first few paragraphs.

Organic energy is getting a jolt with the launch of GO-OPV’s ORENgE system in North America.

Organic energy uses a thin film panel to capture the sun’s rays and converts it to power, similar to traditional solar power.

The panels could be used for windows or trucks, phone or computer chargers, or it can be a building-integrated photovoltaics in glass.

This sounds good to me!

My South-facing windows make air-conditioning a must in my house.

But my air-conditioning broke in 2018 and no-one has been able to fix it!

This technology would sort it out in a trice!

Conclusion

This is technology to watch.

December 20, 2020 Posted by | Energy | , , , | 1 Comment